Tag Archives: Flight II

«Flight II» configuration

Austal Limited (ASX) is pleased to announce that the United States Navy has exercised a US$230,545,382 (A$324.6M) fixed-priced incentive (firm target) contract option for the detail design and construction of Expeditionary Fast Transport (EPF) 16 by Austal USA.

T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by Austal USA in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities (image: Austal USA)

T-EPF-16 will be the third ship constructed by in «Flight II» configuration, which has enhanced medical and aviation capabilities. Austal USA has successfully delivered twelve EPF ships to the U.S. Navy since 2012, on schedule and on budget and is currently constructing EPFs 13, 14 and 15 at the company’s shipyard in Mobile, Alabama.

USNS Apalachicola (T-EPF-13) is being developed as a prototype for autonomous operations, while USNS Cody (T-EPF-14) and USNS Point Loma (T-EPF-15) were redesigned to deliver greater medical capability and capacity.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer Paddy Gregg said the contract for another EPF with enhanced medical capabilities highlighted both the success of the high-speed vessel platform and its flexibility to deliver various mission profiles.

«Austal’s Flight II EPF’s will further enhance the US Navy’s capability and enable a fast response with expanded medical support facilities available for any mission or theatre of operation», Mr. Gregg said. «We are delighted to see the EPF platform being deployed globally and we’re excited to begin production of another highly capable ship for the United States Navy».

The United States Navy’s fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transport ships conduct humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, maritime security, surveillance, command and control, and counter narcotic missions around the globe. The versatility of the EPF design provides a significant operational capability that can be tailored to the needs of each fleet and combatant commander’s geographic command.

Flight II ships enhance the original capabilities of the Spearhead-class EPFs through incorporation of reconfigurable spaces for operating and post-surgical recovery efforts. Combined with the ship’s V-22 Osprey capable flight deck, Flight II ships provide unmatched versatility.

Construction of T-EPF-16 will commence later this year with delivery projected for 2025. In addition to EPFs 13, 14 and 15 currently in production, Austal USA is currently constructing the Independence-variant Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) 32, 34 and 36; and is under contract for LCS 38. Following the opening of the company’s new steel shipbuilding production line, construction will soon commence on the first of two Navajo-class Towing, Salvage and Rescue Ships (T-ATS), T-ATS 11 and 12 for the United States Navy.

This ASX announcement has been approved and authorised for release by Paddy Gregg, Austal Limited’s Chief Executive Officer.

Keel of Harrisburg

Global engineering and defense technologies provider HII announced that the company’s Ingalls Shipbuilding division ceremonially has authenticated the keel of the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS Harrisburg (LPD-30). The ship’s sponsor, Alexandra Curry, a resident of Middletown, Pennsylvania, and wife of the Middletown mayor, was unable to attend the ceremony so Program Executive Officer Ships Rear Admiral Tom Anderson, stepped in to declare the keel «truly and fairly laid».

USS Harrisburg (LPD-30)
Keel of Harrisburg (LPD-30) Authenticated at Ingalls Shipbuilding

«While she could not join us, we welcome Mrs. Curry in spirit as she is now an important part of our shipbuilding family», said Kari Wilkinson, president of Ingalls Shipbuilding. «We look forward to being with her throughout the life of the ship, and we are very grateful for her commitment to this crew. She is a true patriot, with deep respect and gratitude for military service».

The keel ceremony marked the start of construction for Harrisburg by welding the initials of the ship’s sponsor into a ceremonial plate.

Harrisburg is being built at Ingalls Shipbuilding and will be the first Flight II amphibious ship in the San Antonio class. LPD Flight II is the next generation amphibious ship to replace USS Whidbey Island (LSD-41) and USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49) classes of dock landing ships. Ingalls has delivered 11 San Antonio-class ships to the U.S. Navy and has three more under construction.

The San Antonio class is a major part of the Navy’s 21st century amphibious assault force. The 684-foot-long/208.5-meter-long, 105-foot-wide/32-meter-wide ships are used to embark and land Marines, their equipment and supplies ashore via air cushion or conventional landing craft and amphibious assault vehicles, augmented by helicopters or vertical takeoff and landing aircraft such as the MV-22 Osprey. The ships support a Marine Air Ground Task Force across the spectrum of operations, conducting amphibious and expeditionary missions of sea control and power projection to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions throughout the first half of the 21st century.

Keel Authenticated

The keel for the future USS Harrisburg (LPD-30), the U.S. Navy’s 14th San Antonio class-amphibious transport dock ship and the first Flight II ship, was laid at Huntington Ingalls Industries’ (HII) Ingalls Shipbuilding, January 28.

USS Harrisburg (LPD-30)
Keel Authenticated for Future USS Harrisburg (LPD-30)

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate. The ship’s sponsor, Alexandra Curry, wife of Middletown, Pennsylvania, Mayor Jim Curry, had her initials etched into the keel plate by HII welders.

«LPD-30 marks the beginning of the LPD Flight II builds and the continuation of the superb capability that the San Antonio Class platform has brought to the Navy – Marine Corps team», said Cedric McNeal, program manager, Amphibious Warfare Program Office, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. «With its flexibility and adaptability, LPD Flight II ships are essential to projecting power and delivering the combat capability needed to shape the future fleet».

The city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and her surrounding region play a central role in our national defense infrastructure, hosting a myriad of defense logistics and naval supply support activities that bring support and sustenance to our Navy’s fleet and our forward deployed Sailors and Marines. This is the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after the city of Harrisburg. The first was a troopship acquired during World War I.

The LPD Flight II ships will be the functional replacement for the Whidbey Island Class (LSD-41/49). The San Antonio-class is designed to support embarking, transporting, and landing Marines and their equipment by conventional or air-cushioned landing craft. The ship’s capabilities are further enhanced by its flight deck and hangar, enabling the ship to operate a variety of Marine Corps helicopters and the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft (MV-22). Because of the ships inherent capabilities, they are able to support a variety of amphibious assault, special operations, expeditionary warfare, or disaster relief missions, operating independently or as part of Amphibious Readiness Groups (ARGs), Expeditionary Strike Groups, or Joint Task Forces.

HII’s Ingalls Shipbuilding Division is currently in production of the future USS Richard S. McCool (LPD-29) and the future USS Fort Lauderdale (LPD-29). LPD-28 and 29 will serve as transition ships to LPD-30.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.

EPF Flight II

The keel for the future USNS Cody, Expeditionary Fast Transport Ship (EPF-14), the first of the Spearhead-class EPF Flight II configuration, was laid at Austal USA, January 26.

USNS Cody (T-EPF-14)
Keel authenticated for the future USNS Cody (T-EPF-14)

A keel laying is the recognition of the start of a ship’s construction. It is the joining together of a ship’s modular components and the authentication or etching of an honoree’s initials into a ceremonial keel plate.

«The new capabilities of this variant of EPFs fulfills a critical need for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps», said Tim Roberts, Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager, Program Executive Ships. «Ensuring that the fleet has fast access to the right medical care increases both the safety and readiness of our Sailors and Marines».

EPFs are operated by the Military Sealift Command and the USNS Cody (T-EPF-14) is the first ship in naval service named after Cody, Wyoming.

Beginning with EPF-14, the Flight II configuration will enhance current EPF capabilities by including a combined forward resuscitative care capability with a limited Intensive Care Unit and medical ward, while maintaining most of the original requirements of the ship. Flight II EPFs will be able to stabilize postsurgical cases for evacuation without the requirement to first route them through a higher facility.

EPF ships provide high speed, shallow draft transportation capabilities to support the intra-theater maneuver of personnel, supplies and equipment for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The design of the EPF allows flexibility to support the fleet in maintaining a variety of roles, including humanitarian assistance, maritime security, disaster relief and more.

Austal USA is also in construction on the future USNS Point Loma (EPF-15) with production efforts commencing earlier this month.

As one of the Defense Department’s largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.